Nigeria is the most populous black nation in Africa with an estimated population of 140 million people according to the last census conducted in 2007 by the National Population Commission. However, it is unfortunate to note that more than 2,000 people are killed each month by road accidents in all parts of the country.
These deaths are due to several factors that road users can sometimes avoid. The death toll is evidently high during the festive periods, as most motorists and travelers are always in a rush to reach their final destinations.
Bad road network
The country has one of the worst road networks in Africa, which is obviously an embarrassing situation considering the wealth and resources at its disposal. A detailed study of most of the country’s major highways shows a stretch of dilapidated highways with potholes dotting nearly every kilometer of highways.
The most affected is the Lagos-Ibadan highway, which turns out to be one of the most important links between various states in the country. This particular road has claimed thousands of lives due to its poor condition. Successive governments have made empty promises with no corresponding effort to repair or rehabilitate the road. The sight of damaged trucks and vehicles has become a common sight on the roads.
Most of the country’s drivers are very impatient while on the road. The need to pass traffic and pass vehicles around dangerous curves can sometimes end in the tragic loss of innocent souls. Persistent clarification by the federal highway safety commission has made little difference, as reckless driving still exists on the highways.
Influence of alcohol and other stimulants.
It is very common to see drivers gathering in groups very early in the morning at major motor parks drinking local gin and inhaling marijuana or other stimulants. They mistakenly believe that these substances can make them more alert while on the road. However, this has been shown to be false, as the negative influence of these illegal substances has led to fatal accidents on Nigeria’s main roads.
A few months ago I was totally shocked when I read the tragic death of seven people as a result of an illegal roadblock mounted by Nigerian police in Asaba, Delta state. The multiple accidents would have been avoided if the police had cleared the road of forests and other objects that had been mounted to prevent the motorist from moving freely. Your goal of setting up these roadblocks is purely for the purpose of collecting bribes from commercial drivers.
Ignorance of traffic signs
Most of the accidents in Nigeria are caused by a lack of solid knowledge on the part of the driver about the common signs and rules of the road. However, the constant lighting of the road safety commission has reduced the accident rate due to the incorrect interpretation of road signs and most drivers are now getting used to the rules of the road.